Entrepreneur Marian Kočner was acquitted of charges related to ordering the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and devising the plan to murder several prosecutors. On the other hand, defendant Alena Zsuzsová was found guilty by the Specialised Criminal Court and received a 25-year prison sentence. The verdict is not yet final.
As for the February 2018 murder of Jan Kuciak, in which his fiancee Martina Kusnirova lost her life too, the courts have been ruling only on the guilt of Kočner and Zsuzsová. The Specialised Criminal Court originally acquitted them both in September 2020, but the Supreme Court overrode the decision and returned the case back. Members of the murder perpetrator team were all sentenced to lengthy jail terms - Miroslav Marček and Tomáš Szabó to 25 years each and Zoltán Andruskó to 15 years - and these verdicts are final.
The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organisation finds Kočner's acquittal over the lack of incontrovertible evidence in journalist Jan Kuciak's murder trial a "debacle". President Zuzana Čaputová said she is disappointed and surprised by the verdict, but emphasized that court decisions must be respected.
Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor fully respects the decision of the court in journalist Jan Kuciak's murder trial, although he cannot help having mixed feelings about it. Non-parliamentary Voice-SD respects the court decision.
Ex-justice minister and MP Mária Kolíková (2020-22/SaS) fails to understand the decision. "It's absolutely necessary to have the court do its utmost in explaining reasons behind its decision," she said. Kolikova is confident that the judges passed their judgement to the best of their knowledge, but more work is required to reinforce the belief that courts rule fairly.